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AJ+ wins regional Emmy and three Excellence in Journalism awards

AJ+’s Untold America has been honored with one regional Emmy and three Excellence in Journalism Awards, in different categories, for three of their stories. 

A third regional Emmy for AJ+

The Lone Star Emmy, which recognizes excellence in television broadcasting in the State of Texas, was awarded to AJ+ in the category of Human Interest, for Untold America’s “How Do Deaf People Experience Music?”. The video, part of their Deaf People Series, tackles the misconception that Deaf people can't enjoy music, by telling the story of Shaheem Sanchez, a Deaf dancer who is also an instructor at the American Sign Language Music Camp.

Emily Gibson, producer for Untold America, setup a fundraiser among AJ+ staff so Shaheem could attend the awarding ceremony. “I really want to thank my coworkers for their generosity. Shaheem is Deaf so he spoke and signed his acceptance speech, which is very unusual for an event like this. This was an incredible opportunity to remind media to make content that is accessible to everyone”, said Emily.

The awarding took place at the 17th Annual Lone Star Emmy Awards Ceremony, on 16 November in Arlington, Texas. This is the third regional Emmy for AJ+’s Untold America show. The first one was in 2018 and the second one in June 2019.

The SPJ honors AJ+ with three Excellence in Journalism awards

In addition to winning a regional Emmy, the same story won an Excellence in Journalism award of the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ), in the category of Arts & Culture (TV/video). Two other AJ+ stories were also awarded by the SPJ, making for a total of three Excellence in Journalism awards: Untold America’s “My Big Fat Indian Wedding (In America)”, in the category of Features Journalism (TV/Video); and “Life As A Turban-Wearing American Trucker”, in the category of Video Journalism (feature).

“I’m so proud of the team for being recognized by their peers for their hard work and dedication in pursuing and highlighting untold stories that embody the AJ+ spirit”, said Shadi Rahimi, Executive Producer of two of the winning stories.

The SPJ NorCal’s 34th Excellence in Journalism Awards Dinner was held on 14 November in San Francisco, California. With nearly 10,000 members, the SPJ is the most broad-based journalism organization in the United States.